How to test eschatology

Since we have approximately 2,000 years since the time of Jesus of Nazareth, empirical results can be applied to any hypothesis concerning Christian eschatology (from ‘eskhatos’, which means ‘last’ or ‘furthermost’).

For example, some people believed the second coming of Christ was going to happen ‘imminently’, within their natural life times, in the 1st century. It seems fairly clear this was incorrect (or at least their conceptualization of what that meant), and much of the early Christian community seems to have believed it.

(This is also an important datum when considering arguments that such-and-such is true because the early Christian community believed it.)

Any theologian at least worth his weight in salt should be carefully surveying the history of human societies for the last 2,000 years, to see what can be said regarding Christian eschatology. Mere exegesis, however cogent or stringent, or abstract theologizing probably will not be sufficient.

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